International Encyclopedia of Rehabilitation

International Encyclopedia of Rehabilitation
An Online Multilingual Resource

Guidelines for Authors and Reviewers

Introduction and Background

The purpose of these Guidelines is to inform prospective authors and reviewers about the nature of the Encyclopedia and to provide them with information that will guide them in developing articles for it.

Principal participating organizations

The International Encyclopedia of Rehabilitation is a project of the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE), which is a Knowledge Translation center sponsored by the National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Human Services. CIRRIE is located at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Information about CIRRIE can be found at

For the development of the Encyclopedia, CIRRIE is partnering with L'Institut de réadaptation en déficience physique de Québec (Québec Rehabilitation Institute for Physical Disabilities) (IRDPQ) (, specifically its Laboratory of Informatics and Terminology of Rehabilitation and Social Integration(LITRIS) (

The co-editors of the Encyclopedia are Maurice Blouin, the Director of LITRIS, and John Stone, the Director of CIRRIE. They are assisted by their respective staff of rehabilitation terminologists, librarians and rehabilitation specialists.

Laboratoire d'Informatique Médicale, Université de Rennes - 1 France will also collaborate with the project by hosting the Encyclopedia on its website.

The project also has an international Editorial Board of 35 members representing all regions of the world.

Purpose of the Encyclopedia

The IER is meant to provide researchers, professionals, students, persons with disabilities, and the general public with an easily accessible resource via the Internet. It will be available in English, French and Spanish. The Encyclopedia is intended to be a synthesis of state of the science in the principal areas of rehabilitation. Its 400 articles will include the principal disabilities, as well as rehabilitation interventions and associated topics.

Selection of Topics

The topics for the 400 articles were drawn from several sources. These include the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), the thesaurus that is used to search the REHABDATA database ( as well as the CIRRIE database of international rehabilitation research ( and the International Index and Dictionary of Rehabilitation and Social Integration (IIDRSI) (formerly at The intent is to provide coverage of the field of rehabilitation comprehensively, although not exhaustively.

Selection of Authors

The editors' intent is to make the encyclopedia truly international. To identify potential authors and reviewers they have searched CIRRIE and REHABDATA databases of rehabilitation research on the 400 selected terms. The searches have led to the identification of authors who have published on these topics. Authors and reviewers for the Encyclopedia were identified from among this pool, keeping in mind the intent to include information from different regions of the world. Manuscripts must be written in English, French or Spanish. The project will translate all manuscripts into the other two languages.

Role of Reviewers

In this project reviewers are consultants more than judges. Although reviewers are expected to critically analyze the manuscripts they review and make recommendations accordingly, their participation is not to screen articles, but to improve them through their recommendations. Since reviewers will often be from a different discipline than the author and will almost always be from a different country, they will contribute a different perspective to the topic. Since this is an international encyclopedia, it is important that articles do not reflect only the specific context of one country. Since authors know best the context of the country in which they are working, information and perspectives from reviewers from other countries will be especially useful in achieving a more global vision of the topic. Although reviewers of scholarly works are usually anonymous, reviewers of articles for this encyclopedia will be acknowledged and recognized for sharing their knowledge with the author, unless they request anonymity. The co-editors of this encyclopedia see the author-reviewer relationship as collaborative.

How the Encyclopedia will work: view of the final product

The Encyclopedia was originally conceptualized by Maurice Blouin not as simply a stand-alone resource, but as a key element in an online information system for the field of rehabilitation. Terms used in the article will be linked to the IIDRIS dictionary for their definition and synonyms. There will also be links from the Encyclopedia article to corresponding articles in CIRRIE and REHABDATA bibliographic databases. Likewise there will be links from the databases and dictionary to the Encyclopedia.

Instructions and advice to authors

Length of articles

Because the Encyclopedia will be published on the Internet, the length of the article is less of an issue than it would be in a printed volume. The length should be sufficient to provide adequate coverage of the topic, although it need not be exhaustive. Authors should bear in mind that encyclopedia articles are syntheses, not text books. The length of articles may vary somewhat from topic to topic.

Style of writing

This encyclopedia is international and the articles should reflect that. While authors are often most familiar with their topic within the context of their own country, they should make an effort to communicate their knowledge in a way that will be understood by readers from other countries. Authors should avoid referring to specific agencies, programs or legislation of a particular country that will not be familiar or relevant to readers from other countries. Additionally, because of the expected wide range of readers, authors are asked to make the articles understandable to a diverse readership to the extent possible.

Editorial style

Articles should use the editorial style of the Council for Science Editors (CSE), formerly Council for Biology Editors. (Name-Year format).


  1. In text (Please do not use numbered references or footnotes)
    • (Jones 2004)
    • (Jones and Smith 2005)
    • (Jones et al. 2006)
  2. Reference list
    • Jones AB. 2004. An interesting article. Journal of important information. 5(2):12-34.
    • Jones AB, Smith CD. 2005. A great book. Oswego (NY): My Publishing Company. p 55-89.

More specific information and examples of referencing style using the CSE format can be found at



Please make images no more than 500 pixels wide. They should be sent as separate attachments as well as embedded in the document where appropriate. They should be named as referenced in the article, i.e. figure_1.jpg

Alternate text description

To create an accessible website, all images must be accompanied by a text description accurately depicting the image. This is not required for tabular data, but is a must for graphs, diagrams, photographs and figures. In these cases, the description must include all relevant points necessary to make the material understandable in a text only format. For more detailed diagrams, this may be a paragraph of text. It can either be included in the text or sent as a separate file.

Use of related terms

ICF terms may be particularly useful to describe the physical, psychological, social and environmental aspects of your topic. The use of ICF terms, where possible, will give the encyclopedia a basic consistency. A description of the basic rehabilitation interventions related to your topic should be included when relevant.

Time for completion of the article

The manuscript of the article should be completed within six weeks of the author's acceptance. Manuscripts will be sent to reviewers who will have two weeks to submit their reviews. Revisions by the author, if necessary, should not exceed two weeks after their receipt of the reviewer's comments and recommendations. Articles will be posted to the Encyclopedia website as the final manuscripts are received. Unlike a printed volume, articles for the Internet encyclopedia can be published as they are completed.

Editorial rights

Authors will be asked to sign a document giving CIRRIE the right to post the articles on the Internet. The Encyclopedia will have a copyright to protect unwarranted publication by third parties.

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